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SkeletronSkeletron Head
Skeletron Head.png
Map Icon Skeletron.png
Map Icon
Classic Mode.png Classic
Expert Mode.png Expert
Master Mode.png Master
AI TypeHead AI
68 (Skull)

102 (Skull)

1000 (during the day)
Max Life4400/8800/11220
Defense1010+25 per hand alive
00+25 per hand alive (while spinning)
9999 (during the day)
KB Resist100%
Immune toPoisonedConfusedPenetratedTentacle SpikeBlood Butchered
Inflicts debuff
Inflicts debuff
Debuff tooltipCannot regenerate life
Duration6–10 seconds7.5–12.5 seconds
Coins5 GC12 GC50 SC
Projectile created
Projectile created
  • Skull
SkeletronSkeletron Hand
Skeletron Hand (NPC).pngOld-gen console version and Nintendo 3DS version
Classic Mode.png Classic
Expert Mode.png Expert
Master Mode.png Master
Boss Part
AI TypeSkeletron Hand AI
Max Life600/1560/1989
KB Resist100%
Immune toPoisonedConfused
Inflicts debuff
Inflicts debuff
Debuff tooltipMovement speed is reduced
Duration1−2 seconds1.5–2.5 seconds
Map Icon Skeletron.png“The cursed guardian of the dungeon.”Map Icon Skeletron.png
Not to be confused with the Skeleton, an enemy found underground, or Skeletron Prime, the Hardmode version of Skeletron.

Skeletron is a pre-Hardmode boss. Defeating Skeletron for the first time grants unlimited access to all Dungeon areas for players within the current world and allows the Clothier NPC to move into an available vacant house. Additionally, in the Desktop version Desktop version, Console version Console version, and Mobile version Mobile version, defeating Skeletron also causes Old Shaking Chests to rarely spawn in the Caverns layer, and, upon unlocking the chest with Open / Activate while the player has a Golden Key in their inventory, releases the Elder Slime town pet.

If attempting to enter the Dungeon before killing Skeletron, Dungeon Guardians spawn once a player reaches 0 depth.[2] These enemies deal 1,000 damage and generally kill any player in a single hit. Managing to defeat a Dungeon Guardian does not grant access to the Dungeon, thus defeating Skeletron is mandatory for accessing the Dungeon safely.

While Skeletron is alive, the music Boss 1 will play. When Otherworldly music (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is enabled, the track Boss 1 (Otherworldly) will play instead.


Skeletron is summoned by speaking to the Old Man at the Dungeon's entrance at night, who will turn into Skeletron when selecting the "Curse" option. If the Old Man is spoken to during the day, he will ask the player to return at night. Skeletron can only be summoned once per night, as the Old Man will not respawn until dawn. While players with less than 300 maximum health and/or less than 10 defense are deemed too weak by the Old Man to lift his curse, he still offers the option to summon Skeletron.

Skeletron can be summoned repeatedly this way until it is defeated. Once it is defeated, the Old Man's curse will be lifted and he will no longer appear. The Clothier NPC will arrive, bearing a marked resemblance to the Old Man. He can move into a town as long as there is an empty house for him to live in. Skeletron can be re-summoned thereafter once the player acquires the Clothier Voodoo Doll. Equipping this accessory allows the player to kill the Clothier, which summons Skeletron at night. Killing him during the day will do nothing.


Skeletron is a large floating skull with two independent floating hands. All parts can travel through blocks, and will attempt to make contact with the player to inflict damage. Each part can be killed independently, but killing the head is all that is required to defeat Skeletron.

Skeletron alternates between two attack phases:

  1. The head remains above while the hands slash at the player.
  2. The head spins and begins chasing the player, dealing significant damage if touched, but dropping its defense by 10 (to 0 in Classic Mode) for the duration of the attack.

Skeletron switches between these two phases in a regular cycle during the entire fight, with the first phase lasting for roughly 13.33 seconds and the second phase lasting for roughly 6.67 seconds. It lets out a roar every time it enters the second phase.

If the player takes too long to kill Skeleton and dawn (4:30 AM) arrives, it will enrage and begin acting exactly as a faster Dungeon Guardian, permanently performing its spinning attack as well increasing its damage and defense to 1000 and 9999 respectively, usually killing any players remaining in the vicinity quickly upon contact. Skeletron remains in this form until it dies or despawns, even if players manage to avoid dying until the following dusk. Killing Skeletron in this form still counts as defeating it and it will drop its items normally.

Expert Mode

Skeletron has additional properties in Expert Mode(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions):

  • The defense of its head is increased by 25 for each of its hands, resulting in a total defense of 60, initially. Once one hand is defeated, it drops to 35 and finally to 10 when both hands are defeated.
    • During the spinning attack, Skeletron's defense is therefore also only reduced to 50 / 25. Only with both hands defeated, it is reduced to 0 like in Classic Mode.
  • Hand slashes are 50% more frequent and receive a 16% speed increase.
    • Additionally, the hands return to the head faster after their attack.
  • The head accelerates and moves faster when not spinning.
  • The spin attack has its speed increased by 233%. Additionally, it gets further increases under certain circumstances:
    • 5% increased when one hand is down, and 10% when both go down.
    • If the player is 9.375 tiles away or more, its speed gets multiplied by 1.1 for every 3.125 tiles above this threshold, up to 2.6× speed when at 37.5 tiles away.
  • Once either of the hands are destroyed or the head's health is reduced to below 75% (6,600 / 8,415), the head begins to shoot homing skullshoming skulls at the player that despawn on contact with a solid block. It shoots one skull roughly every 1.33 seconds, and doubles the frequency to one skull roughly every 0.67 seconds once both hands are defeated. It pauses firing during its spin attack.
  • Skeletron moves faster and has better AI when targeting multiple players. With this, it is able to "stun-lock" the player while spinning, able to almost instantly kill them if they are not able to escape (e.g. by using a Grappling Hook).
  • Skeletron will inflict debuffs: its hands are able to inflict Slow for 1–2 / 1.5–2.5 seconds, and the head is able to inflict Bleeding for 6–10 / 7.5–12.5 seconds.


Old Man at the Dungeon.
  • Defeating Skeletron will also fully unlock the Bestiary entry for the Dungeon Guardian.
  • The Old Man can be killed. However, this does not count as defeating Skeletron, and he will respawn.
  • The Old Man will respawn at the following dawn if the player fails to defeat Skeletron.
  • Killing Skeletron after the night ends will still count as defeating it, and will allow entering the Dungeon safely.
  • Skeletron's defense and damage will revert to their normal figures if the player dies during the day.


Achievement Boned.png
Boned • “Defeat Skeletron, the cursed guardian of the dungeon.”
Defeat Skeletron for the first time. (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
Category: Slayer Slayer
Achievement Slayer of Worlds.png
Slayer of Worlds • “Defeat every boss in Terraria.”
Defeat every boss in the game. (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
Category: Challenger Challenger


For more elaborate strategies on defeating Skeletron, including weapon and arena recommendations, see Guide:Skeletron strategies.
  • Defeating Skeletron is not necessary for game progression until Golem has been defeated. The Cultists, required for initiating the Lunar Events, will only spawn once both Golem and Skeletron have been defeated. However, skipping Skeletron in pre-Hardmode results in a lack of valuable Dungeon loot, keeps Shadow Chests from being opened (due to the inaccessible Shadow Key), blocks access to the Mechanic, as well as renders the Safe and Void Vault(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) unobtainable.
  • Try to avoid staying above or far to one side of Skeletron for a long time. It will accelerate to move back above the player during this time, and it can be hard to avoid both the head and hands as they rebound into position.
  • The Slime Mount can help the player escape Skeletron's head spin attack.
  • Using a grappling hook can also help evade Skeletron's attacks and is an especially useful tool to escape its head spin attack.
  • With multiple players, it is a good idea to set the spawn point near the Dungeon, so that players can simply rejoin the fight if they die.
  • While Skeletron is immune to many debuffs on the Old-gen console version Old-gen console version and Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS version version, it is not immune to Frostburn on any version.
  • Attacking the hands first is advised as destroying them both will make it very easy to dodge Skeletron for the rest of the battle.
    • This is pretty much mandatory in Expert Mode(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), as Skeletron gains 25 defense for each hand it has alive.
    • Going fast enough on a Minecart can cause the hands to despawn.
  • In Expert Mode, if the player keeps moving in different directions, most homing skulls will miss.
    • The player can also jump in a circle around Skeletron's head, aided by a Shield of Cthulhu or Featherfall Potion.
    • Skulls are blocked by solid blocks, so a barrier between the player and Skeletron can let the player attack Skeletron using a yoyo with impunity.
  • Shimmering a Bezoar lets the player use a Bandage for the fight, blocking the Bleeding debuff for more value out of health regeneration buffs.


Skeletron's head and arms.
The Skeletron-shaped cloud.
  • Assuming that the player is at 5′ 9″ (1.75 m) in terms of height, Skeletron's head would be about 12′ 2½″ (3.72 m) tall and 9′ 7″ (2.92 m) wide. The hands would be 6′ 2½″ (1.9 m) tall and 6′ 2½″ (1.9 m) across.
  • At one point during game development, Skeletron Heads protected the Dungeon, but when one was killed, it would count as killing Skeletron, so the Dungeon Guardians were introduced to protect the Dungeon instead.
  • Skeletron's pre-1.3.5 head looks identical to the Dungeon Guardian.
  • Counting the health from both its hands, Skeletron has even more health than the Expert Mode(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) Wall of Flesh.
  • Skeletron is the only boss not to have any guaranteed drops (with the exception of healing potions, a Treasure Bag(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) if in Expert Mode and a relic(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) if in Master Mode).
  • On the Desktop version Desktop version, Console version Console version, and Mobile version Mobile version, the Old Man has a health bar, but on the Old-gen console version Old-gen console version and Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS version version, he does not.
  • In the Terraria and Edge of Space crossover teaser, Skeletron turns into a boss called Omegatron.
  • The name Skeletron is similar to the name Skeletor, the main antagonist of the Masters of the Universe franchise.
  • Blood emits from the joints between Skeletron's arms and head, possibly implying that they are severed. This aligns with the lore pages.
    • If the Blood and Gore setting in the menu is turned off, the blood emitted from Skeletron's joints is replaced by puffs of smoke.
  • On the Desktop version Desktop version, Console version Console version, and Mobile version Mobile version, a cloud in the shape of Skeletron can occasionally be seen in the background.
  • In the first release of Terraria, prior to the introduction of the Wall of Flesh, Skeletron was the final boss of the game.
  • It is one of the two bosses that needs a town NPC to be alive in order to be summoned. The other is the Wall of Flesh.
  • The sprite file for Skeletron's arms is named Arm_Bone. Similarly, the sprite file for Skeletron Prime's arms is named Arm_Bone_2.
  • In older versions of the game, all parts of Skeletron took increased damage from ranged weapons.Verify
  • Terraria lore pages – According to the Terraria lore pages, the Dryads ripped out part of Cthulhu's skeleton, and a curse caused all the inhabitants of the Dungeon to become undead.
  • The BestiaryBestiary entry for Skeletron: "The disembodied bones of a former tyrant pulsed with a hatred so strong, it left behind a mighty curse which guards the Dungeon."
  • The "former tyrant" refers to Cthulhu.


  • Desktop Skeletron now spawns on the Clothier when using a Clothier Voodoo Doll.
  • Desktop 1.0.6:
    • Head health decreased from 5000 to 4400, but damage increased from 30 to 32.
    • Hands health decreased from 800 to 600, defense decreased from 18 to 14, and damage decreased from 25 to 20.
  • Desktop 1.0.5:
    • Head health decreased from 6000 to 5000, defense decreased from 12 to 10, and damage decreased from 35 to 30.
    • Hands health decreased from 1200 to 800, and damage decreased from 30 to 25.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method AI() in Terraria.NPC.cs. The relevant part is the aiStyle == 11 block.
  2. Note that the player's center needs to be below 0 depth. Since the Depth Meter measures depth at the level of the player's feet, and a player is 3 tiles (6 feet) tall, Dungeon Guardians will only start spawning once the Depth Meter displays "3′ Underground" or more.